n some ways it's easy to love God. He isn't like our friends and neighbors who might do annoying things (mow their yards early in the morning, chew loudly, interrupt us when we are talking or root for the Patriots...) and since He is invisible and doesn't speak audibly very often, we are kind of free to ignore Him until we choose to seek Him. We might say we love God; but it's easy just to keep God in your back pocket until you need Him.
People on the other hand are hard to love. Sometimes they disagree with us. Sometimes they annoy us. Sometimes they pester us. Sometimes they say the wrong things or do the wrong things. And yet, if we can't learn to love our neighbors; how can we claim to love God.
1 John 4:20 gives a particularly hard teaching when it says "Whoever claims to love God and yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen."
This verse hits like a Mike Tyson punch. If you claim to love God (most of us I bet) and yet aren't able to love your fellow man...then you don't really love God; you are a liar and only pretending to love God. Ouch. That stings, right? And yet, it's true.
So, you wanna learn to love God more? Start by loving your neighbor. Start by loving your cousin. Start by loving that guy who voted different than you. Start by loving that lady who disagrees with you. Start by loving that annoying person. Learn to love them. This won't happen overnight; but it can happen. How?
1. Listen to them. We spend too much time talking and not enough listening.
2. Pray for them. Nothing softens your heart faster than praying for someone.
3. Be kind to them. Do something nice for them and expect nothing in return.
The goal is to love God more; and one step is to start by loving your neighbor better.